Guest Post from Community Writer Gavin Hobbs
When it comes to capturing the most stunning and breathtaking photos and videos, a drone is a photographer’s best friend. Drones can provide great benefits to drone users while also enhancing each shot and video whether by technique or angles and has become a very popular and rapidly growing industry. Simply put, aerial photography is the act of taking photographs and videos of the ground from an elevated or direct-down position. In general, the camera is not mounted on a ground-based structure but is instead attached to the drone itself. There are now a plethora of apps that are perfect for aerial drone photographers that can save time as well as increase the cinematic look with each shot.
So what are the best apps for Drone Aerial Photography?
Enhancing Aerial Photography with Apps
The craft of aerial photography has been mastered by professional photographers from different lines of work, ranging from commercial advertising, artistic projects, movie production, environmental studies and landscape photography ventures. However, to get the best from aerial photography using your favorite drone, there are several apps on the market made just for photographers who want to enhance their skills while taking pictures from the air. Some of the apps that are used the most by novice and professional drone photographers are not only cutting-edge but bring a whole new perspective to this type of photography. It is important to keep in mind the time of day that you want to shoot and even the angle. In fact, knowing the exact location of the sun can really make or break even the most perfect shots. Specifically, there are certain apps that can help you plan your adventure, take the best shots and modify each shot to your preferences and specifications.
Plan Your Flight with Horus
A new app, Horus, has been created by a team of computer graphics PhD students from Stanford University that essentially created an algorithm that combines flight planning and camera control all at once. This app functions in a similar fashion to 3D animation apps that connect with smart phones to help position a virtual camera for a specific scene. However, this app stands out among the rest because it actually helps you map out their flight and position of a drone before taking off. Not only does this app that trumps the normal 2D images offered by Google Earth, but it saves time and provides error-proof results that will please the eye. Even more, it is very interactive and allows users to control the motion of the camera orientation for each frame that leads to taking perfect shots each and every time.
Check the Weather with UAV Forecast
This free app is super important to not glace over when you consider planning your next photography outing with your drone. It works like a weather checker wherever you are, based on GPS coordinates, to give you the most updated information about the weather. Matter of fact, it can give you all the details and statistics you need to see the chance of rain, cloud covers and even visibility and temperature levels. It provides updated information every hour so that you can plan ahead and get the best shots of your target location. This app is so advanced that it can even map out the KP index that helps to identify the chances of experiencing unwanted interference with your GPS from other nearby electronics and radio control signals.
Know When to Shoot Using Sun Surveyor
Sun Surveyor is a basic but useful app that works with both iOS and Android operating systems and can help in planning drone flights at specific times wherever you plan to shoot. For example, if you want to capture the best lighting during a sunset or sunrise, you can use this app to see exactly where the sun is located throughout the day using augmented reality or street view mode. In order to eliminate shadows and unwanted blinding light in shots, this is imperative when you plan each angled shot. This app gives you the power to map the best time and locations to photograph your desired area with ease. One of the best features is its golden hour and blue hour times that let you know how much more time and light you have left before you need to bring your aerial photography drone back to the ground.
Identify the Best Locations Using Hover
Hover is an app that is popular among drone photographers because it allows you to store information related to your flight using a digital flight log. This is an excellent tool to use while on-the-go because it stores the duration of each flight, battery usage and other essential information. You can choose to have this information emailed to you so that you can increase efficiency and learn the trends of your own photography. Most importantly, this app has a no-fly zone map feature that acts as an indicator to tell you if it is even safe to fly your drone in a particular area. It basically saves you time and countless Google searches on information about fly zones from the FAA, US Military and even the US National Parks.
Understand Aerial Traffic with Flightradar24
Flightradar24 is one of the most widely used by drone photographers because it acts as a global flight tracking tool that provides real-time information on aircraft around the world. You can basically search all aerial activity near your shooting location so you can make sure there is no interference or shots of other drones or aircraft in your shots. Professional photographers may use this app to see if there are any planes or helicopters about to take off in the area. It may be especially handy for those shooting in urban areas since it can even locate low-flying police helicopters. This app helps if you want to to plan your photography outing especially if you intend to turn your shots into a time-lapse video.
Know Where You Can Fly with AirMap
There is nothing better than a free that app offers the ability to understand where you are legally allowed to use a drone and where you are not. It is important to note where you can fly and what is considered a distraction to air space. This app compiles information about rules and regulations regarding drone usage in your area. With this useful information, you can capture as many landmarks as possible without breaking a law. No one wants to get fined for partaking in their hobby or profession due to a frivolous mishap.
Perfect Your Photos Using SKRWT
This unique app allows you to control the distortion in your shots from your smartphone. It basically corrects the horizontal and vertical distortion common to drone photography. The effect is that your shots will exhibit a straighter horizon line and improved symmetry to gain a more professional look. This is accomplished by tilting any photo on its horizon or axis as well as pulling the center closer or pushing it away. You can get the fine tuning that you have been dreaming of using the precision wheel to adjust settings with ease.
It’s also important to note that if you want to go pro and increase your chances of success a professional drone pilot, then you shouldn’t play around with toys. It’s best to do some research and choose a high-end drone that can fly high and provide excellent video quality before you even think about the right apps for the job.
There is no doubt that there are more than a handful of apps that are used on a regular basis by drone photographers. Using apps is important not only to enhance skill and technique but to stay in accordance with rules and regulations regarding drones. These apps are available at your fingertips and easy to use. In fact, they can be accessed via a smart phone and connected with your drone of choice. Now you can pick and choose from your favorites and continue creating awe-inspiring photography whenever you want.